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What is "the Wash"?
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What is the Wash?
Chronology of Events

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Wash History

Since the creation of the Wash millions of years ago, it has undergone many hydrological, geological and biological changes with the most dramatic changes occurring over the last century. Follow the history of the Wash from the time it was an intermittent channel that carried seasonal flows from the Las Vegas Valley, to its present state as a lush wetland area that now carries as much water as a small river. You will see the effects that modern population growth and floodwaters have had on the Wash and the efforts of the Las Vegas Wash Coordination Committee to restore and enhance this unique environment.

To learn more about people and the wash, visit Our History.

2 to 24 Million Years Ago

Geologic record indicates Wash floodplain development

Early 1900s Modern settlers make Las Vegas home, resulting in increased water flows into the wash
1950s

Early 1950s
Population growth continues

The first wastewater treatment facilities were built

Increased water flowing in the Wash creates extensive wetland environment

1957
Modern techniques accurately determine the flow of water in the Wash

Flood event causes initial headcutting in the Wash channel

1960s

Increased water flows in the Wash accelerate erosional processes

Wetlands decline

Community comes together to discuss issues

1970s

1970
Las Vegas drinking water pipeline constructed across the Wash

Early 1970s
Increasing water flows and flood events cause 5,000 feet of upstream headcutting

1973
Sewage and wastewater advisory committee is organized

Clark County Water Reclamation District (formerly Clark County Sanitation District) constructs new wastewater treatment plant

Las Vegas Wash development advisory committee is organized to discuss wetland degradation issues

1977 - 1978
Section 208 water quality management plan issued

1978
Northshore road culverts replaced by Northshore bridge

1979
Water Quality Study Board & Las Vegas Valley Water Quality Program formed

1980s

Early 1980s
Headcutting advances 9,000 feet upstream

1982
Clark County board approves master planning efforts for the Wash

Clark County Advanced Wastewater Treatment Plant constructed

1984
Flood events erode more sediment from the Wash

Temporary erosion control structure built to protect drinking water pipeline

1985
Clark County Regional Flood Control District created

1986
Temporary erosion control structure is maintained

Clark County establishes task force to address erosion in Wash

1988-1989
Integrated & Comprehensive Management Program developed

1990s

Early 1990s
Lake Las Vegas constructed

1991-1993
Clark County begins planning for Wetlands Park

1993
Clark County begins planning for Pabco Road erosion control structure

1994
City of Henderson Water Reclamation Facility built

1995
Clark County Wetlands Park Master Plan finalized

1996
Ownership transfer of erosion control structure

Friends of the Desert Wetlands Park established

1997
Dam under Northshore bridge built and failed

Lake Mead Water Quality Forum and Water Quality Citizens Advisory Committee established

1998
Las Vegas Wash Coordination Committee established

Emergency repairs to temporary erosion control structure

1998-1999
Three severe flood events scour sediments from the Wash

1999
Construction of two erosion control structures delayed by flood

Educational Outreach begins with Mable Hoggard Elementary School

Late 1999
100-year flood event

Temporary Demonstration grade control structure completed

2000 to present

2000
Las Vegas Wash Comprehensive Adaptive Management Plan completed, implementation underway

Bird Survey begins

Four grade control structures have been completed

2001
Reptile survey begins

Ongoing bird and vegetation monitoring

2002
Six grade control structures completed

Fish survey begins

2003
More than 42 acres of land have been revegetated

Seven grade control structures have been built

0.8 miles of bank stabilization have been put in place

2004
About 57 acres of land have been revegetated

About four miles of bank protection have been implemented

Eight grade control structures have been completed

Bat and amphibian surveys begin

Reptile and fish surveys completed

Bird census completed

Archaeology sites inventoried and cataloged

Ongoing water quality in wash and tributaries

Continued educational outreach and community outreach events

The Wash experienced a strong storm event

Las Vegas Wash Project Coordination Team • 100 City Parkway, Suite 700 • Las Vegas, NV 89106 • (702) 822-3300